Bulletin N° 841
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"Simone de BEAUVOIR"
film de Josée Dayan
The problem is not ‘overpopulation’;
it is the bad political economy!
(a reassessment of capitalist realism)
19 April 2019
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The Little Dutch Boy Award must go to our comrades in the Alternative Media business, Democracy Now! and The Intercept, for their endorsements of The White Helmets and their deafening silence concerning 90% of the Snowden documents still waiting for public release.
See item b. below: “Why did Pierre Omidyar shut down the Snowden archives, with the full agreement of Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill?”
Looking for leverage in all the wrong places.
Medieval historians concur that among the economic and political causes of the First Crusade in 1096-99 was the overpopulation of the French countryside. The First Crusade was followed by periodic mobilizations for invasion of ‘The Holy Lands” over the next centuries and into the 15th Century, none of which were as successful as the First Crusade, but nevertheless marked the beginning of western colonialism, and at the same time the rise of anti-Semitism in Western Europe. At the end of the 11th Century, many poorer peasants who joined the First Crusade came from areas that were already becoming overpopulated in 1095. They entertained the idea of improving their lives in the East more than they could on the crowded lands at home. Some of the European nobility, also, saw an opportunity for economic expansion and improvement of their own lives. Because of a growing acceptance of the law of primogeniture (inheritance limited to the eldest heir), the growing number of younger sons in the aristocracy found the Crusades an opportunity to acquire what was forbidden them at home, the control over their own large estate, the privilege enjoyed by the father. The political economy in support of the First Crusade was explicitly spelled out in the speech by Pope Urban II before the Church Council at the southern French town of Clermont in 1095:
Now that you, O sons of God, have consecrated yourselves to God to maintain peace among yourselves more vigorously and to uphold the laws of the Church faithfully, there is work to do, for you must turn the strength of your sincerity, now that you are aroused by divine correction, to another affair that concerns you and God. Hastening to the way, you must help your brothers living in the Orient, who need your aid for which they have already cried out many times.
. . .
Concerning this affair, I, wish suppliant prayer – not I, but the Lord – exhort you, heralds of Christ, persuade all of whatever class, both knights and footmen, both rich and poor, in numerous edicts, to strive to help expel that wicked race from our Christian lands before it is too late.
. . .
O what a shame, if people, so despised, degenerate, and enslaved by demons would thus overcome people endowed with the trust of almighty God, and shining in the name of Christ! O how many evils will be imputed to you by the Lord Himself, if you do not help those who, like you, profess Christianity!
. . .
Let those . . . who are accustomed to wage private wars wastefully even against Believers, go forth against the Infidels in a battle worthy to be undertaken now and to be finished in victory. Now, let those, who until recently existed as plunderers, be soldiers of Christ; now, let those, who formerly contended against brothers and relations, rightly fight barbarians; now, let those, who recently were hired for a few pieces of silver, win their eternal reward. Let those, who wearied themselves to the detriment of body and soul, labor for a twofold honor. Nay, more, the sorrowful here will be glad there, the poor here will be rich there, and the enemies of the Lord here will be His friends there. (first-hand account by Fulcher of Chartres, published in Chronicle of the First Crusade and cited by Brian Tierney in Vol. I of The Middle Ages: Sources of Medieval History, 1983, pp.155-156)
Before the First Crusade was over, an estimated 100,000 Europeans had been displaced from their homes to “liberate” The Holy Lands. This was, among other things, an 11th-century solution to the “overpopulation problem” in Western Europe, before the Black Plague devastated Eurasia between 1347 and 1351, taking the lives of an estimated 150 million people, almost a quarter of the entire Euro-Asian population.
Reduced to its most essential form, the battle of ideas in the 21st Century revolves around the question:
Is the world overpopulated or is capitalism obsolete?
See item d. below: “What do we want? Revolution! What are they planning to do about it? Depopulation!”
Some think that technology should be liberating humankind from dehumanizing toil, but instead it appears to be raising anxieties for ordinary people and producing unprecedented wealth for the predators who live among us. Others believe that a power elite is necessary for any civilization to function and that this ruling group is necessarily subsidized by the population over which it rules. In contrast to this embrace of the traditional values of social hierarchy is the popular endorsement of a shift from corporate civilization to the global reproduction of socialist cultures, all of which must reject the reactionary urge to consolidate power for a classe dominante by facilitating the submission of la classe dominée.
An alternative to capitalist civilization – and one that would make a clean break with privileged class interests of any class-divided society – is a political economy based on horizontal (non-hierarchical) relationships, offering opportunities for the development of new technical skills and sharing new cultural and scientific knowledge. In such a society of post-scarcity there would be no separation between “the performance principle” and “the pleasure principle”; work would become play, and acquired expertise would bring joy and satisfaction; forced repression and sublimation would be a thing of the past, with gratification displacing alienation.
For more on alternatives to capitalist civilization, see: Michael Albert’s presentation at CEIMSA’s Nanterre Conference #2 (12 November 2012) on :
"International Organizing at the Local Level."
§ Part 1 http://youtu.be/WfuEqLI5wLc
§ Part 2 http://youtu.be/3cyg2Fk0LNA
§ Part 3 http://youtu.be/BIyAqi6Fhsk
The 14 + items below offer insights into the social control methods that now dominate our lives and the logical outcome of this capitalist monopoly of power.
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
US Congress Orders President to Stop Unconstitutional War On Yemen, Trump Tells It to Take a Hike
by Marko Marjanovic
US refuels Saudi jets on combat missions in Yemen, helps select airstrike targets for the Saudis from its satellite data, keeps the Saudi jets in flying condition, and helps enforce the naval blockade. In other words, the US assistance to the Saudis in Yemen is sufficiently hands-on that it constitutes US participation in the war.
That means it is also patently illegal and unconstitutional under US law since technically by law which hasn’t been followed for who knows how long only Congress can declare war (or in newer times “authorize the use of military force” which is in itself a perversion and dilution of the original*).
Despite the letter of the law the Congress has been at least since WWII happy to cede its war making powers to US Presidents to exercise illegally. It has either not challenged the executive when it has started wars without even consulting the Congress. Or — when consulted — it has been happy to pass broad “force authorization” resolutions of questionable legality that supposedly grant the executive the legal right to start (or not) a war at a time (and sometimes against an enemy) of its choosing.
However moving into Yemen to help Saudis fight the Houthis since 2015 the executive did not even go through this much easier hoop to jump.**
The Congress has now voted to inform Trump they never authorized US participation in that war and that he must therefore request authorization or end it. However the way the US system work Trump is actually able to “veto” the order because Congress did not pass it with a two-thirds majority. Hilarious!
The bill, SJ Res 7, was a straightforward bill under the War Powers Act of 1973. The bill noted that Congress never authorized the US war in Yemen, and demanded an end to it. The US Constitution grants sole power to declare wars to the Congress, and by extension the power to order an end to illegal wars.
It is a mere accident of the way bills work that actions under the War Powers Act, designed explicitly as a check on presidential attempts to illegally seize war-making powers, can even be vetoed by the president. Yet SJ Res 7 won such a narrow victory int he Senate that it would be highly unlikely that an override of the veto will even be attempted.
Of course, Trump’s argument here is that US involvement does not rise to the level of war, but that’s nonsense — so what we actually have here is that Congress can inform the President they never voted to allow him to start the war, and he can take that message and fold it into a paper airplane and throw it out the window like a Nero or Julius Caesar.
After Gaza Slaughter, Buttigieg Praised Israeli Security Responses as ‘Moving’
and Faulted Democrats for Easy Judgment
by Philip Weiss
Buttigieg repeatedly praised Israel’s security arrangements as “moving” and “clear-eyed”, said the U.S. could learn something from them, and blamed Palestinians and Hamas for the “misery” in Gaza. (Photo: Twitter)
Last May, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg went to Israel with the American Jewish Committee and two weeks later discussed his trip with that organization. At the time Israel was killing Palestinian protesters at the Gaza fence– 60 on one day within daysof Buttigieg’s visit, getting global attention — yet Buttigieg repeatedly praised Israel’s security arrangements as “moving” and “clear-eyed”, said the U.S. could learn something from them, and blamed Palestinians and Hamas for the “misery” in Gaza.
He also faulted fellow Democrats for making snap judgments based on “90-second cable news versions of what’s going on over there.”
Buttigieg, 37, a former Navy intelligence officer, is today a rising star in the Democratic presidential field as a midwestern mayor with a reputation for intelligence and pragmatism. In his 22-minute discussion with the AJC’s Seffi Kogen last May, Buttigieg never mentioned the Gaza protests directly. But he said that if you only visited Israel, you’d see what wise judgments Israelis are making.
Crispin Miller" <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2019
April is the cruelest month: 10 Palestinians have been killed, and hundreds wounded, since March 30 in Gaza
Please donate what you can to help these medics deal with ongoing massacre in Gaza.
From Amal Arafa:
Since the anniversary of the Great March of Return on March 30, ten people, including children, have been killed:
Child Maysara Mousa Abu Shallouf, 15 years old
Fares Yousef Faris Abu Hairas, 26 years old
Mohammed Jihad Saad, 20 years old
Adham Nidal Amara, 17 years old
Tamer Hashim Abou El Kheir, 17 years old
Bilal Mahmoud Al-Najjar, 17 years old
Habib Al Masri, 24 years old
Nidal Abdel Karim Ahmed Shatat, 29 years old
Jihad Mounir Khaled, 24 years old
Mousa Mohamed Mousa, 23 years old
Over 1,000 others were wounded in just two weeks.
To date, more than 300 have been killed, and more than 40,000 wounded.
Two of our crews have been injured, and are still in the hospital.
Please send your donations to:
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2019
Subject: [MCM] Why did Pierre Omidyar shut down the Snowden archives, with the full agreement of Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill?
From Cat McGuire:
Virtually nothing is being said about how billionaire Pierre Omidyar, essentially the owner of the Snowden docs, has shut down the release, analysis and custodial care of the archives claiming lack of funds. This decision was made just this past March, 2019 with the full participation and agreement of Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill.
Understanding the historical significance of the Snowden cache, Laura Poitras screamed bloody murder that this important treasure trove has been summarily shuttered, particularly since only 10% of the documents have ever been released.
The raison d'etre of the new company Poitras, Greenwald and Scahill created in partnership with Omidyar called The Intercept (First Look) was for Omidyar to finance the herculean effort of responsibly releasing the Snowden documents.
To date, however, once Omidyar got control of the goods around October 2014, only a trickle of the Snowden archives has seen the light of day. The remainder of the digital documents are in dire danger of never being released -- or worse, being destroyed, accidentally or otherwise.
Remember, from June of 2013 when the Snowden event happened to late 2014, for weeks on end all we heard about were the Snowden docs, with one side saying they're a violation of national security, and the Greenwald/Poitras side championing the right to whistleblow state secrets.
So now that the famous Snowden archives have been unilaterally shut down by Omidyar, Greenwald, and Scahill, why is hardly anyone from the left, right, or center raising red-flag alarms? Even Snowden himself has been suspiciously silent.
We would not know about any of this were it not for Poitras who released the private emails explaining how she was excluded from this momentous decision. She exposed how alleged budget concerns were a smokescreen since a mere 1.5% of the Intercept budget was allocated to the Snowden archives team anyway.
Since the very beginning, my sister Colleen and I have wondered what manner of subterfuge has been going on with Greenwald et al. For a long time now, a few brave critics have raised serious questions about Snowden, Poitras, Greenwald, Scahill, and Omidyar to the ire of indignant leftists who deem them all sacred cows immune to criticism.
Over the years, a multitude of dubious actions surrounding Omidyar beg massive exposure. To wit:
Past duplicity notwithstanding, this recent development of the shuttering of the Snowden docs is an unprecedented violation of the public trust. Those documents belong to the American people, no matter how deftly Omidyar purloined them -- or whatever deals-with-the-devil Greenwald et al signed on to. As Greenwald purportedly said in December 2014 when asked why he joined forces with Omidyar, "What billionaire do you expect me to go with?"
Why is the press silent on such a momentous issue? Why has Greenwald colluded in this outrageous new development, including the ousting of Poitras?
With the arrest of Julian Assange, Greenwald has rightfully spoken out in strong opposition to the extradition. Nonetheless, it is the height of unseemly opportunism when Greenwald sent the attached email on April 11 to The Intercept's readers bemoaning Assage's arrest. . . and then asking readers to support free speech by donating -- not to Assange's legal defense! -- but rather to the already richly-endowed Intercept, the very organization that is abandoning the valuable assets entrusted to them by Edward Snowden, another besieged whistleblower.
Further worth noting is Greenwald's interview with NPR on April 11, the day of Assange's arrest in which in a tweet Greenwald claims the interview "became contentious" when NPR characterized him as a "colleague of Julian Assange." Why on earth would being a colleague of Julian Assange offend Greenwald?
Although Glenn Greenwald does a lot of superb work, his handling of the Snowden docs and his alliance with Pierre Omidyar should ring alarm bells.
Below are some starter articles. Pass them on to journalists and beseech them to publicize the memory-holing of the Snowden archives.
· MintPress: Silencing the Whistle: The Intercept Shutters Snowden Archive, Citing Cost, March 30, 2019
· Medium: Why The Intercept Really Closed the Snowden Archive, March 27, 2019 (Poitras' emails)
· Washington Babylon: Why Did Omidyar Shut Down The Intercept’s Snowden Archive?, March 25, 2019
· MintPress: How One of America’s Premier Data Monarchs is Funding a Global Information War and Shaping the Media Landscape , February 18, 2019
Also see :
Justice Integrity Project - Snowden archives article -- Andrew Kreig went above and beyond the call of duty with analysis and extensive related news coverage.
Veterans Today - Snowden archives article -- Kevin Barrett added a politically-perfect introductory essay and a hilarious satire video.
Thanks, Andrew and Kevin for publicizing the ongoing failure to fully release the Snowden docs.
The Trimuph of Evil
by Paul Craig Roberts
Today (April 17) I heard a NPR “news” report that described the democratically elected president of Venezuela as “the Venezuelan dictator Maduro.” By repeating over and over that a democratically elected president is a dictator, the presstitutes create that image of Maduro in the minds of vast numbers of peoples who know nothing about Venezuela and had never heard of Maduro until he is dropped on them as “dictator.”
Nicolas Maduro Moros was elected president of Venezuela in 2013 and again in 2018. Previously he served as vice president and foreign minister, and he was elected to the National Assembly in 2000. Despite Washington’s propaganda campaign against him and Washington’s attempt to instigate violent street protests and Maduro’s overthrow by the Venezuelan military, whose leaders have been offered large sums of money, Maduro has the overwhelming support of the people, and the military has not moved against him.
What is going on is that American oil companies want to recover their control over the revenue streams from Venezuela’s vast oil reserves. Under the Bolivarian Revolution of Chavez, continued by Maduro, the oil revenues instead of departing the country have been used to reduce poverty and raise literacy inside Venezuela.
Nearly 100,000 Pentagon Whistleblower Complaints Have Been Silenced
investigating the U.S. for war crimes, the International Criminal Court shows
colonialism still thrives in international law
by Helyeh Doutaghi and Jay Ramasubramanyam
On April 5, the United States revoked the visa of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, for her attempts to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the U.S. in Afghanistan. A week later, judges at the ICC rejected Bensouda’s request to open a probe into U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
While rights advocates condemned this move as amounting to U.S. interference in the workings of the ICC, it’s more alarming than mere obstruction — and is rooted in the pre-existing hierarchy and embedded colonial structures in international legal order.
Bensouda’s visa revocation underscores the existing systematic inequality in international legal order. This is rooted in the presumed hierarchy by a group of elite nations that have dominated international order from a position of assumed racial, cultural, political, historical, material, economic and legal superiority.
These developments come in light of comments made by the Trump administration’s national security advisor, John Bolton, who delegitimized the role of the ICC in a speech he delivered in September 2018. He said that “the U.S. will take any means necessary” to overcome “unjust prosecution by this illegitimate Court.”
Countries like the U.S. have always enjoyed dominance through this presumed superiority, enabling them to suggest other nations are like-minded when it comes to the international legal order.
The U.S. and other powerful nations have not only been successful in maintaining the status quo of imbalance inherent in international law, but have also been instrumental in establishing the rules governing that legal order.
With tectonic political shifts across the world, the ICC’s representatives — and jurists like Bensouda — represent some of the last vestiges of resisting the dominant global legal order by attempting to hold the West accountable for their transgressions in the global South.
Unfortunately, however, the Court’s unwillingness to move beyond its imperial roots is evident from the decision to reject Bensouda’s request. The ICC has blatantly redefined the notion of “justice” and has been preoccupied with African states while turning a blind eye to equally serious crimes committed by the U.S.
Meddling is routine
Needless to say, U.S. interference and intervention in dozens of sovereign nation states is commonplace. Meddling with the functioning of one of the highest judicial bodies in the world is therefore a familiar pattern of American supremacy in the international legal order.
The move by the U.S. to revoke Bensouda’s visa is an expression of that supremacy through intimidation and bullying of representatives of international institutions. However, it also points to the U.S. wielding power in the age of its new-found sense of self-alienation, which manifests into ongoing imperialist tendencies that influence the decisions made by international institutions.
This perpetuates the West’s practice and tendency to use global legal institutions such as the International Criminal Court to continuously persecute and demonize the global South.
Bensouda’s efforts have certainly not been halted by the U.S. government’s move against her. However, the revocation of her visa and the Court’s validation of such a move by rejecting Bensouda’s request raises questions on broader justice issues, what is being considered within the purview of the ICC, and the legitimacy of international law.
The American Empire Is Very Much Over Already
The Saker interviews Dmitry Orlov
“I think that the American empire is very much over already, but it hasn’t been put to any sort of serious stress test yet, and so nobody realizes that this is the case”
If I had to characterize the current international situation using only one word, the word “chaos” would be a pretty decent choice (albeit not the only one). Chaos in the Ukraine, chaos in Venezuela, chaos everywhere the Empire is involved in any capacity and, of course, chaos inside the USA. But you wouldn’t know that listening to the talking heads and other “experts” who serve roughly the same function for the Empire as the orchestra did on the Titanic: to distract from the developing disaster(s) for a long as possible.
I decided to turn to the undisputed expert on social and political collapse, Dmitry Orlov whom I have always admired for his very logical, non-ideological, comparative analyses of the collapse of the USSR and the USA. The fact that his detractors have to resort to crude and, frankly, stupid ad hominems further convinces me that Dmitry’s views need to be widely shared. Dmitry very kindly agreed to reply to my questions in some detail, for which I am most grateful. I hope that you will find this interview as interesting as I did.
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Subject: [MCM] What do we want? Revolution! What are they planning to do about it? Depopulation!
From Darwin Hoop:
Here's something I posted to Facebook today (attached below Caleb's video). It will be removed and I will be banned again because the last three times I connected what was happening with "mass shootings" and draconian vaccine laws with the plutocratic obsession with depopulation (revolution avoidance, really), I was banned. Three times in under two weeks. I must be way off target...
Well, either great minds think alike or Caleb has been listening and has given us this brilliant piece explicitly linking the Marxist idea of "overproduction" with depopulation initiatives. He doesn't get straight to the point, but the listener's patience will be rewarded:
URGENT: A "MUST WATCH" VIDEO
(COPY BEFORE I AM BANNED AGAIN)
AI alone will either trigger radical depopulation or a political revolution the plutocracy will do all in its power to prevent. This is a crisis and it is upon us. Instead of working with the people to find ways for the unemployed masses to live fruitful lives (e.g., organic farming), the ruling plutocracy is aggressively addressing this crisis as a depopulation emergency.
I keep getting banned for being more specific, so tune into this brilliant video by Caleb Maupin who is very clear that fascists and capitalists have only one way of looking at a group of people they cannot employ profitably who have no means to buy anything: As a population that must be reduced. If you read my stuff, you know that I have long-tied these mechanisms to extant domestic depopulation and disarmament programs that masquerade as public health initiatives. Here, Maupin (also a Facebook friend) too explicitly connects the "overproduction" problem with Bill Gates, genocide, and eugenics.
The choice is ours. Radical depopulation will be our reward for permitting the neoliberal plutocrats to address this crisis alone. They are years ahead of us and they are winning in a rout.
Yes, Caleb Maupin is a socialist, but you should hear him out even if you are not. Depopulation operations will affect us all and neoliberal dogma is what is driving it. In the final analysis, they aren't going to spare you just because you too believe in capitalism. The time to respond is now and we must respond together to survive. We will require a system that doesn't lead back to this awful place.
(re: Vaccines, "mass shootings", toxic food and water, non-consensual anti-reproductive sexuality and gender identity, synergistic toxicity).
6 of WikiLeaks’ biggest ever document dumps
Despite facing constant skepticism from mainstream media and government officials, whistleblower website WikiLeaks has managed to maintain a record of 100 percent accuracy over its 12-year history — and has never lost a lawsuit.
With much of the media now focusing on trivialities, like whether its recently arrested founder Julian Assange spent enough time washing dishes during his nearly seven-year exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, here’s a look back at some of WikiLeaks’ most famous document dumps.
Wikileaks/Assange. Be quiet or else!
with Tulsi Gabbard
The purpose of arresting Julian Assange is to send a message to the people, especially journalists, to be quiet and don’t get out of line. If we, the people, allow the government to control us through fear, we are no longer free, we are no longer America.
Julian Assange could face mistreatment in US, warns UN torture investigator
Julian and Martin: Reflections on the Arrest of Assange
by Richard Rubenstein
Will someone please explain to me why Martin Luther King, Jr. is considered a hero for violating laws sustaining the system of racial discrimination, while Julian Assange is considered a villain for violating laws sustaining the system of imperial war?
Democratic Party bigwigs are celebrating the arrest of the Wikileaks founder in London and the request of Donald Trump’s Justice Department for his extradition to the U.S. According to Senators Chuck Schumer, Mark Warner, and Joe Manchin – and, of course, ex-Senator Hilary Clinton – Assange deserves to be punished severely for plotting with Chelsea Manning to obtain and release classified military information, and for allegedly helping the Russians to influence the election of 2016. These are War Democrats, of course, who never met a defense corporation or armed intervention that they didn’t like. One is not surprised to hear them howling for revenge against the “traitor” who revealed American war crimes to the world.
Democrats calling themselves progressives are more inclined to defend Assange – sort of – on the ground that his imminent prosecution represents an attack on journalistic freedom that may make it difficult for the media to publish classified documents like those contained in the Pentagon Papers. More legalistic progressives aren’t so sure about this, since they consider publishing classified info OK so long as it has been “sanitized” to avoid exposing intelligence agents, but obtaining the info by hacking into a government computer not ok: i.e., a crime.
What neither camp wants to talk about, however, is whether it’s ok to break securities laws in order to expose the American Empire’s war plans, errors, and misdeeds.
Thus, my earlier question: why is lawbreaker Martin Luther King, Jr. a hero and lawbreaker Julian Assange a villain? Intelligent people whom I’ve asked about this give the most convoluted and irrelevant answers! “Dr. King never threatened American security the way Assange did.” “Dr. King submitted to arrest, but Assange fled to the security of an embassy.” “King loved his enemies, but Assange hates America.”
All Investigative Journalists Do What Julian Assange Did
by Robert Parry
Defending Julian Assange; Defending the Truth
by Robert J. Burrowes
On 11 April 2019, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was dragged from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London by UK police and arrested for breaching a bail condition. See ‘Arrest update – SW1’. Upon arrival at a London police station, Julian was ‘further arrested’ on behalf of the United States government to satisfy an extradition warrant under Section 73 of the UK Extradition Act. See ‘UPDATE: Arrest of Julian Assange’.
Following a brief court hearing in which the extraordinary prejudice of the district judge was on clear display – see ‘Chelsea and Julian Are in Jail. History Trembles’ – Julian is now imprisoned in south London’s maximum security Belmarsh Prison. He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary extradition hearing on 2 May and the US must produce its case for requesting Julian’s extradition from the UK by 12 June but, as Nicholas Weaver reports, Julian could be in UK custody for years as the extradition is contested in court. See ‘The Wikileaks Case Is Just Beginning’.
Prior to his arrest, Julian had been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012, having been granted citizenship of Ecuador and asylum by that country because many people were well aware of the risk he faced if he was tried in a kangaroo court in the United States. This asylum, to which Julian was entitled under long-standing provisions of international law, had been granted by previous Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who clearly understood this law (and the moral principles on which it is based).
As a result of his recent arrest however, Julian is under threat of extradition to the United States so that he can face criminal prosecution/persecution – see the US indictment of Julian Assange or ‘Read the Julian Assange indictment’ – for his role in exposing the truth about US war crimes in Afghanistan (the Afghan War Diary) and Iraq (the Iraq War Logs), as did The Guardian and The New York Times, by publishing leaked evidence of these crimes – including the ‘Collateral Murder’ video – as well as publishing evidence of widespread government corruption on the WikiLeaks website. It was this threat of persecution by US authorities that led Julian to seek asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the first place.
However, since the election in Ecuador on 24 May 2017 of the criminal and cowardly president Lenín Moreno, Julian’s asylum has been under threat and the conditions of his stay in the Embassy have rapidly deteriorated. This is because Moreno has been anxious to divert public attention from the spotlight of corruption currently shining directly on him – see ‘Ecuador National Assembly to Start Corruption Probe of Moreno’ – and to secure the loans offered as bribes by US officials while capitulating to US government pressure to illegally terminate Julian’s political asylum. See ‘Ecuador Bowed to US Pressure, Violated Law – Assange’s Associate’ and ‘WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested, Activists Rally to Stop US Extradition’.
by Alan MacLeod
Sent: Monday, April 8, 2019
Subject: I've been told by people who know to stay away from these financial 'advisers'
I'm certainly not recommending
buying whatever it is they're selling.
But sometimes they have interesting information. See below. I've also learned from a cousin who was a professor of investment at the University of Utah (I audited his class), "Never invest a penny more than you can afford to lose." My late friend, boss, and brother Gene Fodor was an economist educated in Hungary. He said "Economics is witchcraft. Anyone who tells you it isn't is lying, or doesn't know."
Most of us have read Paul Krugman's End This Depression NOW? I read it with my teeth clenched, not understanding much till I got to the introduction of the Euro, chapter 9, I think. I heartily recommend Yanis Varoufakis's little book Austerity, at this point. Easy to understand. AND. Like Krugman, he obviously knows, and the Greeks elected him finance minister just in time to make sure (he said) that he would refuse the second 'loan' from the 'troika.' We all need a Mr. Varoufakis as finance minister, am I wrong?
But what's the solution? Obviously the German taxpayers will object to paying for the Greeks' financial disasters, won't they? And won't we? Don't the Greeks -- like everybody -- have to TAX THEIR OWN RICH? And how can the Greeks control their own currency now that they don't HAVE a national currency.
We all have Euros now. And recently I learned that I couldn't cash a euro check on a French bank in Spain.
It has always seemed to me that local capitalism was more friendly than national or international capitalism. Growing up in Salt Lake City, I was told by friends in well-to-do entrepreneurial families -- a candy company, a stationery store, a bakery -- that 1) in order to compete with your competitors you had to sell the very best quality product for the very lowest price possible, and 2) all of your employees had to feel appreciated and well paid so they would want the company to succeed and do their best to see that it did. Sounds friendly, doesn't it? A little better than "We. Are. The Traders! We eat the Buy-and-Hold guys for LUNCH."
Bon appétit, non?
A sort of Central Committee in Ithaca, New York issued an alternative currency on the model of systems established in the 19th Century in Austria and Germany. They were called Hours. I heard of Grains de Sel in Paris, but was never able to find them.
You gave a new member let's say $200 worth of the currency (they were sometimes called coupons) in exchange for their advertising their goods or services in the program's news bulletin. You agreed to accept at least partial payment in the alternative currency, and when you withdrew from the program, you were expected to return the same number of coupons.
This money could not be invested, and it made no sense to accumulate it. It was intended to make the local economy MOVE. Good idea, no? Especially in neighborhoods where residents have insufficient access to the official currency?
Here's what Money Morning has announced. I've also heard tell that the phenomenon of the Jubilee is about to be slapped on us (See Leviticus 25 in the Old Testament), which is to say, all debts will be wiped out, and those of us who have lent will lose everything we have lent.
Now as to whether Money Morning has the right idea about what to do NOW, I have my suspicions. Everything I've lent anybody has already been paid back, and I never lend more than I can afford to lose. So I'm not too worried. But I'd appreciate anything you have to say on the subject.
You want to see the Money Morning rant on the coming crisis?
I'm not compelled to
dash out and do what they say, but I find their research relevant and
The Fed Is About to Torch the Dollar, Stocks, and Bonds – Here's What to Do
By Matt Piepenburg, Macro Signal Strategist, Money Morning • March 8, 2019
Market noise is never-ending – as are worries over and questions about the market.
What to buy? What to sell? What to hold? What will the Fed do? Where are markets headed? When will the next recession hit? Why? Why?
What should I do?
In this increasingly volatile market, nervous investors still look to prompt-reading advisors and pundits who work within the safe and stupefied confines of mainstream consensus.
Market timers and market predictors, too, are everywhere; they always have been and always will be. Some are bulls; some are bears.
Investors are seeking answers – and instant, calming solutions. These "experts" and "systems" are offering just that – most of which is the same.
"Markets rise and fall," the experts say as a chorus, "just be diversified – hold stocks and bonds – and carry on. The economy is strong, employment is high, inflation is low, and the markets will stay the steady course over time."
This all may feel and sound comforting, but so does dope. Their advice might seem to "make good sense," but the data (i.e. objective facts) as to the economy, employment, inflation, and the strength of stocks and bonds suggest otherwise.
So we need simple, blunt guidance. And we need to know how to protect ourselves.
Fortunately, the answer is right in front of us, which is to say, right behind us.
Here's the Only Way This Fake Boom Can End
History, and not tarot cards and market timers, hold the answer to where the markets and your hard-fought wealth are going. And if you cut through all the noise, yield curves, derivatives math, political headlines, fancy market jargon, expert testimony, and Fed-speak, this history is actually quite simple.
In fact, the entire history of economic cycles and busts, from 1st century Athens to 18th century France to the Great Depression of 1929 to the Great Recession of 2008 simply boils down to this…
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Every market crisis is preceded by a debt crisis and "solved" by a currency devaluation. Every one. Every time. Period.
And guess what? With debt levels at $244 trillion globally and $71 trillion here in the United States, the world in general – and the U.S. in particular – has never been deeper in debt, nor faced a more profound debt crisis.
Think about those numbers: In essence, they are the two most useful predictors for understanding where we are today and where we are headed tomorrow.
In the wake of the 2008 crisis, the Fed took interest rates to ultra-low, basement levels, throwing open the credit spigots and fueling a credit expansion across all sectors, public and private.
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This expansion is the fattest and fastest in the history of money.
It's also the most dangerous.
Because, as centuries of market history confirm, the bigger the credit expansion, the bigger the collapse to come:
"Every collapse of a credit expansion is a bankruptcy, and the magnitude of the bankruptcy will be proportionate to the magnitude of the debt debauch." – Freeman Tilden, 1936
As for such "debaucherous" debt bubbles, they "pop" when the cost of carrying that debaucherously high debt gets too painful.
And because this pain level rises in tandem with rising interest rates, everything hinges upon rising rates.
You see, the United States is in debt like never before, and yet because rates are still low, we, as a country, have been able to get away with deficits (i.e. a credit card "recovery") with no ill effect for decades.
Such debt-driven peace of mind has convinced many that the United States can run forever with what Jacques Rueff described as "deficits without tears."
And as the chart to the left clearly shows, we can run massive deficits (grey line) without "tears" simply because interest rates (black line) have been artificially stapled to the floor, since the mid-1980s in general and 2008 in particular.
Stated otherwise: Falling interest rates (artificially suppressed by the Fed) have made debt relatively easier to carry – at least for a while…
But here's the rub: Rates are rising due to market pressure (rather than Fed "control") and the cost of that debt (i.e. the "interest expense") is edging higher, like you see at the left.
This means everyone from Joe Six-Pack to the U.S. government is about to face increased – dare I say "tearful" – debt expenses.
Uncle Sam's deficit spending is increasing at an annual rate of $1.2 trillion. How is this rising debt expense ever going to be paid?
Who, or what, will come riding… flying… swooping… sneaking… to his rescue when he can no longer afford the interest payments?
Will it come from tax revenue in an era of poorly timed tax cuts? Can we expect bailouts from a broke European Union? Maybe broke and belligerent China? Or how about an even more broke Japan?
The short answer is this: Not a snowball's chance in hell…
Instead, most of us by now already know what will happen…
It Won't Be Any Different for Us When Our Turn Comes
will happen when we can no longer afford to keep the lights on?
History confirms the very simple answer: The United States will devalue its currency to solve its debt problem. That means the Fed will once again start printing money out of thin air. And again it will refer to the exercise euphemistically as "quantitative easing" – i.e., "faking it."
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How can we be so sure? Because as history again confirms, the United States in general, and the Fed in particular, literally has no choice.
If they don't print more magical money, there will be no new "credit card" money to continue supporting an already artificially supported bond market. This means bond prices will fall and thus bond yields (and the interest rates they, not the Fed, push) will naturally and mathematically rise.
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This subsequent rise in interest rates and interest expenses on debt, in the public and private sectors, will be fatal. It will create a market catastrophe in what are already catastrophically overvalued, debt-driven U.S. securities markets.
After all, rising rates create tipping points in which debt-laden companies need to dip into their earnings – earnings which have already been distorted by debt-driven stock buybacks and ex-items accounting scams – to pay their rising debt costs.
This hit on earnings, of course, results in falling stock prices. After all, what is a stock but a claim on future earnings?
We've seen the first early symptoms of this in real time, in seven short months. From June to December 2018, the FAANGs – Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Alphabet Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Google – have
dropped a whopping 32%.
Our completely broken and overlooked bond market is even more of a distorted danger zone for otherwise unwitting investors. The most obvious symptom of this distorted credit bubble is the so-called "high yield" bond market, which is in fact, a low-yield minefield.
High-yield issuers, for example, recently saw their first bond issuance after one of the longest dry spells (40-plus days) since 1995.
For these junky companies that perpetually need more borrowed money (by issuing bonds) to pay back their maturing and perpetually "rolling" debts, they face a tearful problem. Namely, the new interest rate they have to pay today is 6.5% – to cover yesterday's debts pegged at 4.125%.
In other words, the perpetual U.S. debt-rollover orgy is slowly coming to an end. The tears are only just beginning.
As interest rates continue to rise in the face of a cornered Fed and mushrooming Treasury supply – over $1 trillion worth of "IOUs" per year – just to pay for our public debt rollover, these tears will turn into sobbing fits.
That is, at some point soon (one we are tracking carefully), the bubble in U.S. stocks and bonds will do what all bubbles throughout history have always done, namely: "POP!"
And at that moment, unless the Fed starts printing more money (and I mean fast and furiously) Fed-supported bond prices will tumble further, rates will rise further, and the next market crash will make 2008 seem benign in comparison.
Why? Because today's debt crisis – which includes everything from real estate, corporate bonds, student debt, government deficits, and car loans – is far worse than just the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2008.
So, there we have it folks. Our debt-soaked, artificially supported securities market is facing an inevitable and interest rate–driven "uh-oh" moment.
Sadly, the only tool the Fed has left in its toolbox to slow this debt slide is the totally unconstitutional power to print money.
But is this really a solution? Is it good news? Comforting news? Calming news?
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In fact, the Fed is now stuck between a rock and hard place – a dilemma of its own creation. The Fed gets to choose between a natural market catastrophe… or the catastrophic inflation of currency deflation via unnatural Fed money printing.
Given that every iteration of the Fed since Alan Greenspan serves Wall Street masters rather than natural market cycles, it's not hard to guess what the Fed will eventually do…
It will print dollars and rot out an already-weakening U.S. currency. Yes, that's the same currency you take home for pay and that you use to provide for your family and future, just rotting away.
At that point, the smart move is to do what forward-thinking, protection-minded investors have done since the beginning of time.
We turn to the best hedge there ever was against weakening currencies…
Build Up a Smart Precious Metal Allocation
I mean silver and gold, of course.
Historical devaluation of the U.S. dollar's purchasing power as a result of debt-inspired currency devaluation is not an opinion, but a fact, as the below graph of the dollar's declining purchasing power confirms:
Meanwhile, the purchasing power of gold, as measured in U.S. dollars, has a far better historical, as well as graphical…track record.
One does not need to be a "gold bug" or precious metals peddler to see this. I'm certainly not of that stripe.
Gold and silver are volatile movers – as are the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEArca: GLD) and Sprott Physical Gold Trust ETV (NYSEArca: PHYS) vehicles. Both the physical metal and the exchange-traded products likely will continue to rise and fall in the coming months and seasons, as headlines replace truth and sales-spin ignores common sense.
if you invest for the long term with a respect for history, that volatility
won't bother you a bit. And the security will help you sleep better.
Owning a smart allocation of these metals – the Swiss, for example, typically hold a 10% allocation in gold as "insurance" – makes far, far more sense than anything we've seen coming out of D.C. or Wall Street since 2008.
Be careful out there.
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The Shocking Parallels Between 1919 and 2019
by Arnold R. Isaacs
Reading about immigration policy, religious and racial bigotry, and terrorism fears in America in 1919 offers an eerie sense of decades melting away and past and present blurring together.
The blend isn’t exact. Bigotry was expressed much more explicitly a century ago, not in code as it usually is now. Jim Crow laws in the South and other forms of racial segregation in the rest of the country were seen by most white Americans as the normal state of affairs. In the national debate on immigration, the most inflammatory rhetoric was largely aimed at immigrants from Asia, not Latin America or the Middle East; Slavs, southern Europeans, and Jews from Eastern Europe also faced widespread hostility. Religious prejudice was typically directed at Jews and Catholics, not Muslims. Yet despite those differences, many of the underlying attitudes and the tone of the immigration argument 100 years ago were strikingly similar to those that roil our society today.
I haven’t read of anyone in 1919 saying “make America great again” or referring to unwanted immigrants’ homelands as “shithole countries.” But those exact ideas, if not precisely the same words, were commonly expressed a century ago. And some key words and phrases appeared then as now — referring to immigration as an “invasion,” for example, or disparaging immigrants as dirty, poor, and criminally inclined.
A pair of quotes illustrates the common thread, a widespread feeling in both eras that, after several decades of large-scale immigration, American identity itself was under threat.
Bamiyan, Babylon, Palmyra, Notre-Dame
by Pepe Escobar
The Bamiyan Buddhas were destroyed by an intolerant sect pretending to follow Islam. Buddhism all across Asia grieved. The West hardly paid attention.
The remaining ruins of Babylon, and the attached museum, were occupied, plundered and vandalized by a US Marine base during Shock and Awe in 2003. The West paid no attention.
Vast tracts of Palmyra – a legendary Silk Road oasis – were destroyed by another intolerant sect pretending to follow Islam with their backs covered by layers of Western “intelligence”. The West paid no attention.
Scores of Catholic and Orthodox churches in Syria were burnt to the ground by the same intolerant sect pretending to follow Islam with their backs sponsored and weaponized, among others, by the US, Britain and France. The West paid no attention whatsoever.
Notre-Dame, which in many ways can be construed as the Matrix of the West, is partially consumed by a theoretically blind fire.
Yellow Vest Movement Struggles to Reinvent Democracy
by Richard Greeman
This must-read article on the Yellow Vests contains information that the mainstream media in Europe and the US is not only blacking out, but is purposefully misrepresenting.
IMO the Yellow Vest movement is the best example to date of all the highest hopes we had for the Occupy movement. The direct oppression of the Yellow Vests by the French government is a literal deja vu on steroids of how the US government successfully destroyed the Occupy movement against the 1%.
Along with other resistence movements -- the pro-Palestinian movement being the premier example -- news about the Yellow Vests must be widely circulated by us, we the people, due to the fact that alternative channels like PopularResistence.org are facing increasingly vigorous censorship through algorythmming, deplatformming, demonetizing, and other high-tech, Orwellian solutions to silence truthtellers.
Please send this email far and wide to your network!
Top oil firms spending millions lobbying
to block climate change policies, says report
Ad campaigns hide investment in a huge expansion of oil and gas extraction, says InfluenceMap
ExxonMobil leads the oil firms in spending on branding campaigns suggesting they support action against climate change. Photograph: Matt Slocum/AP
The largest five stock market listed oil and gas companies spend nearly $200m (£153m) a year lobbying to delay, control or block policies to tackle climate change, according to a new report.
Chevron, BP and ExxonMobil were the main companies leading the field in direct lobbying to push against a climate policy to tackle global warming, the report said.
Increasingly they are using social media to successfully push their agenda to weaken and oppose any meaningful legislation to tackle global warming.
In the run-up to the US midterm elections last year $2m was spent on targeted Facebook and Instagram ads by global oil giants and their industry bodies, promoting the benefits of increased fossil fuel production, according to the report published on Friday by InfluenceMap.
Separately, BP donated $13m to a campaign, also supported by Chevron, that successfully stopped a carbon tax in Washington state – $1m of which was spent on social media ads, the research shows.
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Edward Collins, the report’s author, analysed corporate spending on lobbying, briefing and advertising, and assessed what proportion was dedicated to climate issues.
He said: “Oil majors’ climate branding sounds increasingly hollow and their credibility is on the line. They publicly support climate action while lobbying against binding policy. They advocate low-carbon solutions but such investments are dwarfed by spending on expanding their fossil fuel business.”
After the Paris climate agreement in 2015 the large integrated oil and gas companies said they supported a price on carbon and formed groups like the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative which promote voluntary measures.
Fukushima contaminants found as far north as Alaska's Bering Strait
by Yereth Rosen
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Radioactive contamination from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant hit by a tsunami in 2011 has drifted as far north as waters off a remote Alaska island in the Bering Strait, scientists said on Wednesday.
Saying Goodbye to Planet Earth
by Chris Hedges
Editor’s note: The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed a former oil and mining industry lobbyist as secretary of the interior. President Donald Trump’s nomination of David Bernhardt, a government official during the George W. Bush administration, easily survived challenges by environmentally minded senators and others. It came amid rapidly mounting scientific evidence that global warming is an existential threat to huge numbers of species, including Homo sapiens.
“A Message from the Future with AOC”:
New Film Imagines World Transformed by the Green New Deal
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Subject: Our rights are under assault
"The National Security Archive" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Subject: Redactions: The Declassified File
US Justice Department releases Mueller report on Trump-Russia
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Fri, 12 Apr 2019
Subject: [MCM] Operation Gladio makes the world go wrong.
On the history of false flags mounted by the CIA, Paul Williams' “Operation
Gladio” is essential reading, the best of several good books on that most nefarious of covert operations.
Before Paul turned his critical attention to this subject, back when he
deemed himself a neoconservative, he appeared often on Fox News as an expert on Islamist
terrorism. Once he discovered that such terror has actually been cultivated by the US
government, Fox News dropped him like a hot piece of shrapnel; nor has his excellent
book been much reviewed (to put it mildly).
A few years back Paul visited my class "The Culture Industries" at NYU, where he told the story of his evolution from a safely "expert" talking head to an
explosive teller of appalling truths about the CIA since World War II, including its long involvement with the Mafia, the Vatican, the global drug trade and the
international far right.
Please read and share this hair-raising synopsis of Operation Gladio, and read and spread the word about the book itself.
From: Mark Crispin Miller
“Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between The Vatican, The CIA, & The Mafia”
by Tyler Durden
Authored by via Off-Guardian.org,
On the hot summer morning of Aug. 2, 1980 a massive explosion ripped apart the main waiting room of the Bologna railway station. Eighty-five people
were killed and hundreds more injured. Though at first blamed on Italy’s legendary urban guerrillas, The Red Brigades, it soon emerged that the attack had, in fact, originated from within the ‘deep state’ of the Italian government itself.
The full nature of this secret parallel state would only come to light a decade later when the Italian premier, Giulio Andreotti, under questioning from a special commission of inquiry, revealed the existence of arms caches stashed all around the country and which were at the disposal of an organization which *later came to be identified as ‘Gladio’.
From: Mark Crispin
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2019
Subject: [MCM] Harry Truman's (buried) qualms about the CIA